Battlefield 3- Revisiting the multiplayer
March 16, 2014
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“Are we almost done with this post? ‘Cuz you know what, it’s almost headshot time! Boom, headshot!” —FPS_Doug
It’s been some four months since I began playing the multiplayer component to Battlefield 3, and now, I’ve accumulated a total of 34 hours of time spent in-game. I now win roughly half the games I stay the full-length for (and I leave around a third of the games I play owing to real-world reasons). At the time of writing, I’m rank 32, and now, I think I’ve got a reasonable idea of what the Battlefield 3 multiplayer component feels like. If I had to keep this thought short, I will say that I’ve found my replacement to Halo 2 Vista in Battlefield 3: between 2009 and 2013, Halo 2 Vista was my most-played game, and I spent most of my Friday evenings getting killtaculars on Lockout and Beaver Creek. Battlefield 3 has since stepped up to that role, and now, I spend most Friday evenings on Noshahr Canals or Seine Crossing mowing down people with weapons. Battlefield 3 has definitely served as a hugely entertaining experience, aided in no small part by the unlocks system, which constantly gives replay incentive. Of course, the team-based aspects further the game’s enjoyment factor: I have gotten very high scores in games from constantly resupplying, healing, reviving, repairing and spotting for my teammates, even if I had half as many kills as the players up top. I can only imagine what it must be like for a veteran to see a lowly rank 32 player directly underneath him in scoring despite him having double my kills.
- I hardly ever get to use vehicles outside of conquest matches, but when I do, I have a great time with them. I just unlocked the HMG for my tanks, and I also got the missiles for my anti-air vehicles. Ironically, I unlocked those points by killing infantry trying to capture an objective, rather than through shooting down aircraft.
- I’ve also unlocked the F2000 assault rifle, but despite its higher rate of fire and general supremacy at closer range, I still find myself preferring the M416 for my assault rifle needs, although I should probably learn my way around it and the other rifles I’ve unlocked so I can get all the attachments.
- The DAO-12 is my favourite shotgun: I unlocked it via the Physical Warfare pack that came with the game, and its relatively high rate of fire, coupled with a large magazine size, makes it ideal for pumping buckshot into crowds of hostiles in close-quarters frenzies, like those at Noshahr Canals. The weapon’s downside is that it has a very long reload time.
- Jets are remarkably difficult to shoot down, making this image particularly impressive, when I destroyed an enemy jet, for the first time, with two Stinger missiles. Ideally, I’d have a teammate with another anti-air missile launcher so that after I fire my shot and flares are dumped, my teammate would fire his missile. There’s a delay in reloading the flares, so we’d be able to score kills on the jets. Alternatively, I’d have a Javelin and SOFLAM combination, although teamwork isn’t generally coordinated enough for me to try this.
- On occasion, I do play Battlefield: Bad Company 2‘s multiplayer, and as of late, I’ve excelled (or, if I may even say, dominated) with the Engineer’s SCAR-L there. This prompted me to give Battlefield 3‘s SCAR-H another go, and that landed me my first-ever carbine ribbon.
- Now comes the fun part of my post, where I get to tell some of the more interesting stories about my experiences in Battlefield 3 and in the process, show off some of the medals I’ve unlocked. Part of the challenge is actually getting the screenshots themselves without them either disappearing, or me dying, before I can get the image; the medals may appear at unexpected times once the appropriate number of ribbons are earned, and so, I found myself missing some of the screenshots when my first few medals began appearing either because I was slow in typing out the command or getting shot in the face while trying to take the screenshot. The repair one was easy enough: I just camped in a container while the resupplies were coming in to capture this screenshot.
- The medical medal was particularly difficult to capture, since I usually die after reviving people while making the switch from the defibrillator back to my weapons. I realised that I would probably miss the medal if I died, so I decided that I would try to capture the medical medal in the slower pace of a conquest match, where the enemies were further away. It worked out nicely enough, leading to this screenshot. Expand the screenshot to see someone raging away!
- Despite being three months after playing Battlefield 3‘s multiplayer for the first time, I hardly ever use the text chat, preferring to just shoot and help my teammates complete objectives. Here, I’ve unlocked the PDW medal, a rather nice-looking medal reflecting my affinity with the personal defense weapons. I’ve unlocked the PDW-R now, although I still prefer the PP-2000 over all the other PWDs, even in spite of the former’s long reload time.
- The suppression medal caught me by surprise: I was helping my teammates with some cover fire but had emptied out my LMG at that point, so I switched to my pistol rather than reload. Firing blindly at the street corner below, my teammates were able to kill a few people, earning me enough suppression ribbons to get the medal. This moment was completely unexpected, and I’m glad the medal lasted long enough for me to type the command for a screenshot into the terminal to get this image.
- This rush match on Operation Metro saw me with a different loadout than I am wont to using normally: my M416 here is equipped with a 6x rifle scope and bipod for longer range engagements. About halfway into the game, the server switched me to the (losing) attacking team, although I was still able to utilise this loadout to get some long distance kills in the hopes that my team would be able to arm the MCOM charge. Despite failing, I still got enough kills to earn the last ribbon and unlock the assault rifle medal.
At the current rate of progression, I will probably reach Rank 45 by June, by which I will have unlocked all of the all-class weapons and specialisations. By then, my Battlefield 3 vanilla experience will largely be complete (minus the Co-op), and I’ll be left wondering whether or not I wish to continue playing or spend my time elsewhere. I am presently considering purchasing the Premium edition expansion pack once that goes on sale so I have access to the assignments and new maps. I’m only really interested in the Close Quarters expansion: while players may feel that the new maps included make the game handle too much like Call of Duty, I personally enjoy close-quarters combat for the chaos it brings. The other weapons and maps from Back to Karkland seem quite nice, too, and I would also look forward to playing with the X-Bow variants in the DLC. If I still can’t play Co-op by then, I’ll likely just buy those unlocks during a sale. For now, though, I’ve still got thirteen ranks’ worth of items to unlock, and I look forwards to earning more medals in the game. Of course, given how much fun I’ve had in Battlefield 3, I do sometimes wonder if I’ll ever finish Skyrim or Deus Ex: Human Revolution.